Dental x-rays, known as radiographs, are essential diagnostic tools for the prevention of serious dental diseases and complications. They provide the dentist with valuable information not available through a regular dental exam. Identifying such problems early saves you time, money, and necessary pain. Dental x-rays can reveal:
- Tooth abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
- Decay between teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth and below the gum line
Patients often wonder if dental x-rays are safe. We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.